Cost of Living in Finland

Expenses of living in Finland
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With a population of around 5.5 million people, the northern European country of Finland has a strong, stable and highly industrialised economy. Its per capita GDP is almost as high as that of the Netherlands and Austria. The job market is thriving with high demand for Application Programmers, Software Developers, Nursing Associate Professionals, Social Work and Counselling Professionals, Audiologists and Speech Therapists, Generalist Medical Practitioners and Early Childhood Educators. The minimum wage is around 2,178 EUR per month while the average wages are in the region of 4,690 EUR per month. The salaries vary from 1,190 EUR (lowest average) to 20,900 EUR (highest average) per month. Those in Accounting and Finance are likely to earn on average 4,830 EUR per month, those in Banking earn in the region of 5,100 EUR per month, while those in Marketing are likely to earn approximately 5,260 EUR per month.

Opening a bank account in Finland

Although each bank in Finland has its own requirements for opening an account, the most common documentation that you’ll need is the following:

  • Passport
  • Proof of address (utility bill or a official government correspondence)
  • Your Finnish personal identification number (called a henkilötunnus)
  • KELA card (which shows that you are able to be covered by the Finnish social security system)
  • Visa or residence permit

For those that do not yet have an address in Finland, a non-resident bank account can be opened, although it comes with some limitations including the fact that it will not include online banking in addition to other services. Sources indicate that this restriction should be lifted after three months of you living in the country.

Accommodation cost in Finland

Rental prices for apartments in Finland vary depending on where you choose to live. On average, the apartment rental prices you could pay are between 13 and 25 EUR per square metre. In Helsinki, the cost per square metre is 21.50 EUR, while in other towns, the prices are lower. They include Vantaa (18 EUR), Tampere (15.40 EUR), Turku (14.50 EUR), Oulu (13.30 EUR). These are the costs for non-subsidised rental rates in 2021. Meanwhile, the non-subsidised rental rates for new contracts are as follows: Helsinki (19.30-25.20 EUR), Vantaa (18.40 EUR), Tampere (16 EUR), Turku (15.40 EUR) and Oulu (13.70 EUR).

Apartment rental prices in Helsinki go for 670 EUR per month for a studio, 830 EUR for a two-room apartment and 1,100 EUR for a three-room apartment. In Turku, the costs are a bit lower with 530 EUR for a studio, 640 EUR for a two-room apartment and 800 EUR for a three-room apartment. Meanwhile in Oulu, you’ll be expected to pay around 580 EUR for a studio, 800 EUR for a two-room apartment and 980 EUR for a three-room apartment. The costs for Vantaa are 660 EUR for a studio, 800 EUR for a two-room apartment and 1,100 EUR for a three-room apartment.

When it comes to purchasing property, the costs are slightly different. For example, the average housing share price per square metre in an existing apartment in a block of flats or a terraced house in Helsinki will set you back 4,782 EUR, while in Vantaa this cost is nearly half at 2,674 EUR. In Turku, the same will cost you 2,216 EUR and in Oulu this cost is 1,003 EUR. As for the rest of Finland, the prices average around 1,645 EUR.

In terms of purchasing property, a housing-share situation in Helsinki’s neighbourhoods will set you back between 9,000 and 10,000 EUR per square metre for the city centre and downtown districts of Keskusta, Punavuori, Ullanlinna, Töölö and Kamppi. Other neighbourhoods such as Kallio, Sörnäinen and Pasila also in Helsinki will cost you in the region of 6,000 and 8,000 EUR per square metre. The costs for purchasing a property in Pukinmäki, Vuosaari or Itäkeskus is between 4,800 and 5,500 EUR per square metre, while the same property will cost you in the region of 3,300 EUR per square metre for properties in Jakomäki and Kontula.

Regarding houses for sale, the average detached house (omakotitalo) will cost you the following amounts per square metre:

District Price in EUR
Helsinki 3,118 EUR
Helsinki: Malmi 2,400-3,800 EUR
Helsinki: Puistola 2,300-3700 EUR
Other cities 1,436 EUR
Espoo 2,400-4,200 EUR
Vantaa 1,800-3,600 EUR
Turku 1,500-2,000 EUR
Oulu 1,100-2,200 EUR
Porvoo 1,700-2,500 EUR

Cost of utility bills in Finland

Apart from renting or purchasing a property in Finland, there are also the costs of utility bills to consider. On average, a two-person household’s monthly residential electricity bill will be in the region of 20 and 40 EUR for a 40 square metre apartment. Water bills, on the other hand, will cost around 20 EUR per month, although in some cases it’s possible that water will be included in the rent. In Finland, there’s a cost for maintenance fees called “hoitovastike”, which includes regular building maintenance and other running costs. This cost will be about 4.50 EUR per month per square metre for an average 40 square metre apartment.

Other utility costs to factor in include having an internet connection. This will set you back as follows:

  • 4G Home broadband connection (100Mbit/s, per month): 30 EUR
  • 4G Mobile internet connection (100Mbit/s, per month) – 25 EUR
  • 5G Mobile internet connection (1000Mbit/s, per month) – 45 EUR

Meanwhile, your mobile phone plans per month start at 7.90 EUR, a 4G mobile phone plan with unlimited calls and messages will be in the region of 26 EUR and a 5G cell phone plan with unlimited calls and messages will be around 50 EUR per month.

For house cleaning service prices, the average cost you’ll be expected to pay per hour per cleaner is between 35 and 50 EUR.

Transportation expenses in Finland

Finland’s and Helsinki’s transport system, in particular, is well developed, fast, efficient and safe. The system includes trams, a small metro, buses and trains, as well as ferries. If you wish to travel using the public transportation system, you can use the same tickets for each type of transport method, with the possibility of transferring between different types of transport. A single trip is limited to 80-100 minutes, depending on the number of transport zones covered by the ticket. Helsinki has four transport zones and the travel fares for zones A + B will cost 2.80 EUR. For zones A + B + C, you’ll be expected to pay 4.10 EUR, while for zones A + B + C + D the cost is 5.70 EUR. You can purchase your tickets in advance at vending machines or through the phone. Purchasing directly from the driver could be more expensive.

There are also travel tickets that can help you save on transportation costs. A daily pass, for example, will cost you 8 EUR. A pass for two days will be around 12 EUR. A travel pass for three days is 16 EUR, and a weekly pass is 32 EUR.

If you’re in a hurry and are looking to take a taxi, the initial charge for day tariff in Helsinki is 5.90 EUR, while the price per kilometre is 1.55 EUR. The cost per minute is 0.74 EUR. The night tariff is significantly higher as the initial charge is 9 EUR, the price per kilometre is 1.55 EUR and the price per minute is 0.74 EUR. The taxi rates are the same for Sunday (all day) as the night tariff.

Overall, if you have a car in Finland, whether it’s your own or you’re renting it, one litre of gasoline will cost you 1.54 EUR.

A Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (or equivalent new car) will cost you 25,000 EUR, while a Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97 KW Comfort (or equivalent new car) is in the region of 25,420.17 EUR.

Cost of necessities in Finland

Costs of food, attire and personal care also make up for a large chunk of your expenditure in Finland. These costs are covered in more detail below.

Food costs in Finland

Here are some of the average prices you could pay for common items in your fridge:

Type of Product Unit Price in EUR
Milk 1 Litre 0.95 EUR
Loaf of fresh white bread 500g 2.02 EUR
White rice 1kg 2.04 EUR
Eggs 12 2.11 EUR
Local cheese 1kg 6.79 EUR
Checken fillets 1kg 10.05 EUR
Beef round (or equivalent back leg red meat) 1kg 14.11 EUR
Apples 1kg 2.23 EUR
Bananas 1kg 1.62 EUR
Oranges 1kg 2.08 EUR
Tomatoes 1kg 3.04 EUR
Potatoes 1kg 1.01 EUR
Onions 1kg 1.38 EUR
Lettuce 1 head 1.63 EUR
Water 1.5 Litre bottle 1.38 EUR
Bottle of wine (mid-range) Standard bottle 12.00 EUR
Domestic beer 0.5 Litre 2.44 EUR
Imported beer 0.33 Litre 2.93 EUR
Cigarettes (Marlboro) 20 Pack 8.00 EUR

And if you’d like to treat yourself and spend some time out at a restaurant, here are the average costs of meals in a restaurant or fast food joint:

  • Meal, inexpensive restaurant – 12.00 EUR
  • Meal for 2 people, mid-range restaurant, three-course – 70.00 EUR
  • McMeal at McDonalds (or equivalent combo meal) – 8.00 EUR
  • Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught) – 6.00 EUR
  • Imported beer (0.33 litre bottle) – 6.00 EUR
  • Cappuccino (regular) – 3.58 EUR
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle) – 2.46 EUR
  • Water (0.33 litre bottle) – 1.58 EUR

Attire and personal care

If you want to look your best, some costs of attire and personal items will set you back as follows:

Type of Item Price in EUR
1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 84.93 EUR
1 summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M) 35.94 EUR
1 pair of Nike running shoes (mid-range) 82.22 EUR
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes 118.51 EUR

Takeaways

If you’re considering moving to Finland and are curious about the cost of living there, there are some things to keep in mind:

  • Finland is a highly industrialised nation with generally higher than average monthly salaries.
  • To open a bank account, you’ll need your passport, proof of address, your Finnish personal identification number, a KELA card as well as a visa or residence permit.
  • The costs of accommodation will depend on the city you choose to live in as well as your proximity to the city centre.
  •  When it comes to utilities, in Finland, there’s a cost for maintenance fees called “hoitovastike”, which includes regular building maintenance and other running costs.
  • Public transportation is much more affordable than taking taxis or using your own car.
  • Food prices will vary depending on where you purchase them while going out to a restaurant can set you back with about 70 EUR.
  • The cost of personal items is also comparatively high, and will also depend on the quality of the garment you’re purchasing.

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